It’s been a weird summer, and now it’s over.
Your calendar doesn’t say so, but ours does. Packers training camp started today, and that is the beginning of football season in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
It’s the first summer in more than 40 years that I haven’t had a car. No car means no summer songs blasting on the radio. No, not even Boston.
A song for the summer of 2015 might be “Gwan,” by the Suffers, the scorching 10-piece Houston soul/R&B group seen by about 100 of us in downtown Green Bay last month. We rarely see anyone that cool. Go see them if they’re near you.
In 1970, that summer’s song was, and is, “In The Summertime,” by Mungo Jerry. It was starting its rise up the charts on this week in 1970, entering the WLS Hit Parade at No. 22. This week in 1970, I was 13, and I suspect it wasn’t too long before I bought this 45, which I loved.
You know “In The Summertime,” of course. But I also loved the rollicking flip side on that Janus 7-inch: “Mighty Man.”
Mungo Jerry records are on my digging wish list, but you rarely see them.
I found one a couple of weeks ago, but it didn’t have any of the cuts I seek, neither “Mighty Man” nor the Sgt. Pepperesque “Memoirs Of A Stockbroker” (also possibly influenced by Status Quo’s “Pictures Of Matchstick Men”) nor “Little Miss Hipshake,” which sounds a little like T. Rex. I bought it anyway.
On “Mungo Jerry: The Pye History of British Pop Music,” a 1975 compilation that’s long out of print, I found this Dylanesque tune. In it, our hero’s girlfriend’s parents freak out over his long hair, and he’s hassled by “the fuzz.”
Ah, those glorious ’70s.
“You Don’t Have To Be In The Army To Fight In The War,” Mungo Jerry, 1971. Originally released on a 45, then on the LP of the same name, both long out of print. It’s available digitally on any number of Mungo Jerry comps.